When you’re in a collision, one of the things you may not be thinking about is the risk to your hands. Many people hold on to the steering wheel or reach out to brace themselves in a car crash. What happens next could be devastating, depending on the impact and what happens to the person’s hands and arms.

If your hands go through the windshield, for example, you could have badly damaged fingers and hands with torn tendons, broken bones and other complications. Surgical intervention may help, but many months or years of rehabilitation may be necessary.

People don’t talk about the impact of crashes on people’s hands enough, so here are a few things to consider about how hand injuries could impact your life:

Broken fingers can cause misalignment in the whole hand

When you can’t use a finger, the other parts of your hand have to compensate. This leads to misalignment, which can strain muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons.

Without hands, daily tasks become harder

Simple tasks such as buttoning a shirt, holding a spoon or writing a letter could become nearly impossible after hand injuries. With 27 bones in the wrist, hand and fingers, there are plenty of places where you can end up with injuries that immobilize your hand as a whole.

Pain is a reality

One of the things that is amazing about hands and fingers is that they’re sensitive. However, this isn’t great if they’re hurt; many nerves run through the hands and fingers, leading to chronic pain for some who suffer injuries.

No victim deserves to live with the injuries they suffered as a result of someone else’s negligence. Our site has more on what you can do to make sure the other person is held responsible.